8bit Mid-life Crisis – part 3

A Parcel!O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!  I received a parcel yesterday, naturally there wasn’t anyone in the house.  Grete picked it up for me today from the Post Office, and although initially I feared it was an HDMI cable I’d bought from Amazon, Grete assured me on collection it was rather larger than that!

Turns out it’s the very last Spectrum 48k that I bought, excellent turnaround from the eBayer that sold it to me.

I’m actually working tonight (long running issue at work), so after getting in, in between cooking some food and logging on to my work laptop, I ripped open the packaging and sure enough, inside is a boxed Spectrum 48k.  You can even see the original price tag on the cardboard box!

Some pictures,

Boxed 48k SpectrumOriginal Price Tag

The exciting thing about this delivery is not just that it’s another Spectrum but that it includes a power source and a TV RF cable.  That means I can test the other two Spectrums I already have!  Huzzah!  As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited!

During a lull in work, I manage to get 20 minutes to try all 3 machines.  I plugged in the first Spectrum I got (no idea if it works), and before I even tuned the TV in, I could hear the keyboard clicks! It’s alive!  5 minutes of TV tuning later (which you know, is fun, because it’s about 10 years since I had to tune a TV signal), and I get this.

Fuzzy TV Image

from this Spectrum,

Cheap Spectrum

As you can see, the TV image is pretty shocking.  But, this is the Spectrum with the rust on the AV connector, so I’m pretty confident at this stage I can clean that up.  All the keys work (miracle!) and the Spectrum is alive!

Next, I plug in the new one.  Instantly, I get this,

Clear TV image

from this,

Slightly Less Cheap Spectrum

As you can see, a much cleaner image.  The back of the new Spectrum is far cleaner as well (more pictures when I have more time).  Sadly, somewhere between being boxed up by the seller and arriving at my house, some of the keys have stopped working (upper left side).  I suspect the ribbon cable inside is a little torn or flaky and just needs some work to repair it.  I’m not sad because I now have two mostly working Spectrums and a way to test more!

I plugged in the Spectrum +2 as well, with a bit of power cable fiddling I can get the tape drive to work, but I can’t get it tuned in.  The +2 also has a bit of rust on the AV connector it appears and I either need to get it cleaned, or spend more time trying to tune it in.  I can almost see an image on the TV so I’m pretty sure the thing powers up okay.

Exciting times my friends, exciting times indeed.